JEFFERSONVILLE — Next week will mark a major step in a new build that will become both the hub of the River Ridge Commerce Center and Clark County government.
By the end of the week, the River Ridge Development Authority is expected to be mostly moved into the third floor of the new 45,000 center on Corporate Drive on the east edge of the growing commerce center.
The Clark County government offices are still slated to move into the first and second floors in the first quarter of next year. The Clark County Commissioners approved in December purchasing the building with River Ridge to relocate as the space which currently houses services like the county commissioners and council, assessor and other county offices was becoming cramped.
Jerry Acy, executive director at the River Ridge Development Authority, said Monday that the third floor is substantially complete, although there are still some minor things that will come later.
“We feel good; we’re excited,” he said, adding that “It’s a lot of work to get everything packed up — we’ve been in this [current] building for 15 years.”
That current building is a single-floor office space just off of Ind. 62, surrounded by companies the authority has brought in over the years. But as the commerce center has grown, so has the need for more space.
Acy said the new digs will allow for multiple meetings simultaneously, rather than just the main conference room they currently have.
“We’re pretty limited here,” he said, adding that in the new space, “When we’ve got a progress meeting on an infrastructure project and another bid opening and a potential new prospect visiting, we [will have] several meeting rooms and a large board room.
“We’re looking forward to having that flexibility.”
The third floor will also have on display artifacts from the buildings that were part of the Indiana Army Ammunition plant, which was formerly at the sprawling land along Ind. 62.
The Clark County government offices are still on schedule to close on the lower two floors in March or April, depending on whether supply issues affect any of the construction time.
At a recent meeting, the Clark County Commissioners approved the creation of a building corporation which will purchase the lower levels from River Ridge once complete via bonds.
Although two appraisals put the cost for the county at over $8 million, the development authority gave the county a discounted deal at $6.5 million, which includes $90 per square foot for the buildout of the structure.
“So obviously the purchase price even with the build-out is far below the appraised value, which is good for us,” Clark County Commissioners attorney Scott Lewis said.
He said that the county offices expect to begin the move as soon as possible after the expected spring closing, which will take time depending on how much furniture they move versus what will be bought for the new space.
The current space on Court Avenue in downtown Jeffersonville will be devoted to being a full judicial center, which will also include the clerk, prosecutor and offices associated with the probation department. In recent years, some offices associated with that department have had to be located off-site due to space issues.
The move will also allow the Clark Superior Courts 5 and 6, which were implemented in July, to add to the four existing circuit courts.
Lewis said the judges are currently working on design plans for the new build of the courts.